An Emerging Economy: Brazil

One of the most emerging economies in the world is Brazil, located in South Africa. Brazil has 169.8 million people. The largest city in Brazil is Sao Paolo which has 15 million. The industry specilaizes in automobiles, arms, steel, metal, petro chemicals, eelctronics and processed foods. The racial composition of Brazil is made up of Europeans, Indians, Japanese, Arabs, and Americans. The question is can Brazil become a superpower?

The Brazil empire was at 1822 to 1889. The Portugese arrived in 1500 and in the first decade of conquest 95% of the Tupi Indian population was killed. In 1808 Napolean invaded Portugal, King Joao 3 and his son Dom Pedro escaped to Brazil. In 1822 Dom Pedro decalred Brazil independent after his father returned to Portugal. African slavery which was key to the economy was abolished in 1888.

The old Republic in Brazil featured domination by the old elite coffee owning families. In 1830 when coffee replaced sugar as the leading crop, the coffee elitists took power in Brazil. In 1891 a Constitution was created which has a separation of church and state, much like the U.S. In 1881 large populations of immigrants came to Brazil from Italy, Portugal, Spain, Germany, and Japan.

In 1930 a revolution hit in Brazil caused by the 1929 Great Depression. Coffee prices dropped and jobs were lost. Getulio Vargas was elected president in 1930 and he took full control of power. The Populist Republic began in 1945 and lasted until 1964. Corporatism is dominant in the state. Vargas was re-elected on a populist program. The military also played a dominant behind the scenes role. Some of the reforms that were initiated was a minimum wage, social insurance system. In 1954 Vargas committed suicide.

Kubitschek succeeded Vargas in 1956 and ruled until 1960. In 1964 a period of Bureaucratic Authoritarianism followed. In 1961 there was a fear of the leftists overthrowing the government which led to a coup d’etat of the government by the military. This was a period of severe repression.

A democratic transition of the government ocurred afterwards which was led by Giesel and Figuereido who both decided to pull the military out of the government and make the transition to democracy. In 1989 the first free elections took place and Fernando Collor De Mello won the election. In 1992 Collor was impeached for corruption and in 1994 Fernando Henrique Cardiso, sociologist and leftist was elected. In 2003 Lula da Silva of the workers party was elected.

As Brazil heads to the future, one of their most pressing issues will be the class gap between the rich and poor and the glabalization of finances as well as race and identity.

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